We set out bright and early this morning for a full day fishing charter with Captain Diego of Florida Keys Flats. It was the highlight of the past year for the four of us and a day of adventure, excitement, reward and togetherness that we will treasure. Islamorada is the Sportfishing Capital of the World and, you know the saying, when in Rome….
The moment we laid eyes on Captain’s quick and gigantic smile, we knew we were in for a treat. It was truly like spending the day with an old fishing buddy. He took such care with the boys – teaching them, encouraging them, giving them a friendly nudge when needed (Whit finally started to bait his on line with the live shrimp!) and cheering them on as they reeled in fish after fish after fish.
I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed all of Captain’s stories throughout the day. Our favorite of all was the touching and incredible story of his family coming to America from Cuba by boat when he was eight years old. <3
I stayed down with them to photograph everyone’s first catch and then spent most of the day sunning up top and belting out the lyrics to Captain’s incredible playlist. Seeing these three together was the icing on the cake It was glorious!
I’m not even going to try and name the things we caught. A lot of red snapper, some things we threw back, some we kept for bait, some we kept for shark bait (boys!) and, most rewarding of all, our dinner!
Right at the start of hour seven, and just after the boys started bleeding a few barracuda to lure some shark over (seriously….), Whit got a hook deep in his thumb. It was a silly accident that didn’t even happen while actively fishing. After assessing the situation, Honey and Captain agreed it was one for the ER. We pulled up anchor in a flash and Captain delivered us almost to the door of the hospital. Whit kept high spirits the whole time – even waving with his hook and bloody hand “like Captain Hook” at some shocked bystanders at the dock. Despite how bad it seemed, he left with nothing but a bandaid and good wrapping. Whew!
While we were with Whit, Captain took our keepers to his own home and boned, fileted and prepped them for dinner. He texted us his address and we swung by to pick them up. I cannot tell you what a kind, dear man he is.
After cleaning up at the resort, we were off to Lazy Days to have our fresh catch prepared for dinner! Captain recommending going “Lazy Style” and he had not led us astray so far so we followed directions! Our fresh catch was panko crusted, served with key lime butter and topped with diced tomato, green onion and parmesan cheese. I kid you not when I say it was the best fish we’d ever eaten! We’ve already found copy cat recipes online.
The Trading Post was a great stop for snacks and lunch on our day trip. We all enjoyed their ready-made sandwiches, snacks and, most of all, noodles!
Needless to say, our room was out cold the moment our heads hit the pillows. Our only regret from the day was that our trip ended so abruptly that we didn’t get a photo with Captain Diego. <3
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED